UW Graduate School

Ask the Grad School Guru


September 21, 2017

Fostering Inclusive Classrooms as a TA

How do we, as TAs or RAs, work to include all students we work with, given the difficult times the nation is in? — Anonymous  This week’s answer is courtesy of Gonzalo Guzman, pre-doctoral instructor in American Ethnic Studies and the College of Education.  To say we live in “difficult times” would be an understatement. This is…


May 29, 2017

Summer Lovin’ for your resume

Don’t have a summer gig lined up? Or maybe you’ve secured work unrelated to your field, and want to stay mentally sharp during the next few months? Here are 10 tips for professional and career development – a few of which will even get you outdoors! And, as Dylan High, student experience coordinator for Museology reminds us: “No matter…


April 20, 2017

From an Overworked TA

The class I am a TA for requires 12 hours of student interaction and about half a day of preparing materials. Every week. This is way more than the 20 hours/week that I am paid to do. The instructor knows this and had originally requested twice as many TAs as we have, but the department, being…


April 6, 2017

Funding options for Master’s students

Why are most RA/TA positions open to Masters AND PhD students? Unless you’re an exceptional Masters student, it’s almost impossible to compete against PhD students for positions that are open to both, as PhD students usually have more experience/education. Why not have RA/TA positions that are only for Masters students so they can reduce the…


March 23, 2017

Dread and Taxes

This Guru post has been updated from a previous inquiry. Happy filing! Filing taxes seems more complicated than it should be, and there seems to be no help from the university, despite the fact that many graduate students have very similar tax situations. What’s the best way to file to maximize our return (where do…


March 9, 2017

Friends Wanted

How do you make friends in grad school? I feel like I missed a crucial seminar where everyone else got paired up. I hear about things that happened on the weekend in passing and the middle schooler in me that followed me all the way up to graduate education is so hurt. Part of what…


February 23, 2017

Recommendations for Recommendations

How many times is too many times to ask a professor for a letter of recommendation? I often find out about opportunities at the last minute, but don’t want to burden my advisors with creating a letter for me at the drop of a hat. Is it acceptable to re-use a general one that was…


January 25, 2017

Project Prep

I’m a graduate student in Engineering. How do I effectively organize the data, code and writing materials for a project?  —Anonymous Well, that is the million dollar question, isn’t it? Everyone has their own methods, and hopefully you’ve written enough smaller papers that you’ve developed certain techniques for organizing and writing. However, as many students find,…


January 12, 2017

What I Did This Summer

My program doesn’t require (or fund) summer coursework so I’m shopping for productive options. Suggestions of places to look other than HuskyJobs? Research opportunities? Things that might pay me AND fulfill me (ideally) or do one or the other?  —Anonymous Without knowing your specific field or interests, I’ll try to provide some possibilities that will…


December 14, 2016

Finding Funding

I came across a scholarship that seemed like the perfect opportunity for me… until I found out the deadline was two weeks ago. How is it possible to find these types of awards at the right time? —Anonymous (This week’s answer is courtesy of Michelle Drapek, Counseling Services Coordinator, UW Graduate School Office of Fellowships and…



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